Willow House: Dot

Posted on 08 November 2012 | Narrative

“It’s a shame that things such as dance halls have closed now.”

Willow House: Dot“It only cost a small donation in a box to get in, and it was somewhere to go, maybe twice a week or so. Young people didn’t really have a lot of entertainment options then, but at least we had a place to dance and amuse ourselves for an evening; nowadays the youngsters don’t seem to have anything to keep them off the streets and out of trouble.

“Terry’s was a nice place to work. It was a big factory with lots of people working there, but still considered more ‘high-class’ than other places. The work itself wasn’t too stressful; I started there when I left school at 14, packing chocolates, and made enough money to be able to afford things like clothes and getting my hair done.

“I was an only child, and a bit spoilt, as most only children are, so I wanted a big family when I started my own. We got married when I was 21 and I went part-time at Terry’s to raise the children. My husband worked at a big hotel in York; the wages were poor but he got his meals for free.

“York used to be full of industry; places like Rowntree’s and Terry’s created jobs for people when they left school and helped them to provide for themselves. I feel bad for young people nowadays, because they don’t have the same opportunities if they want to go into trade anymore, as there aren’t enough jobs around and it’s a struggle for parents to support them…

…Best thing about York? No trouble.”

This story and the others featuring on our website this week (w/c 5th November 2012) have been gathered by volunteers at the University of York.